From 1870-1945, Imperialism, World War I, and the Great Depression had a global impact economically and socially. The effects of Imperialism caused a build of tension between nations as European countries tried to show off their power and prosper economically through the invasion of areas in Africa. In World War I, existing empires were disassembled and new nations emerged as a result. As a result, Woodrow Wilson came up with a new system for controlling threat by creating the League Nations. After World War I, countries turned their economies inward once the Great Depression came and the “domino effect” took its toll on countries around the world.
 Further natural resources like rubber in Congo, oil in Iran, and gold in South Africa encouraged imperialists to expand their spheres of influence past their natural border.  Access to these regions also provided western states a market for their finished goods, textiles primarily. Senator Beveridge explains the need of foreign markets by stating “Where shall we turn for consumers of our surplus? Geography answers the question. China is our natural customer.” French imperialist Jules Ferry also highlights the need for a foreign consumer “...felt more and more urgently by industrialized population of Europe and especially the people of our rich and hardworking country of France: the need for outlets [for exports].” In cases where westerners were buying rather than selling to foreign markets, military intervention was utilized.
Feelings of nationalism itensified throughout Europe during the nineteenth century. Nationalism in the extreme promotes the idea of national superiority. Industrialized countries therefore felt they had the right to take control of weaker areas. Countries also tried to increase their power through the control of more land and people. Economic causes also led to imperialism.
Motivation for Expansion During the nineteenth century, the Industrial Revolution gave certain countries in Western Europe a big boost of economic power. France, Britain, Italy, and Germany emerged as industrialized powers, with high population and high production. During a time when Social Darwinism was popular, it was only natural that these nations compete with each other for survival. The most important motivation for Europeans to colonize during the 19th and 20th centuries was to strengthen their own countries in order to compete with the other European powers. One of the major ways a colony can strengthen a nation is by providing it with another economic market.
05 Nov. 2011. http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/173861/Dunsinane. “Ed. Richard Sime.” Elements of Literature: 6th Course. Austin: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 2000 pp. 298-299.
European superpowers exploited Africans and their raw materials. In the 19th century Europe began to industrialize. Europe’s new industry demanded for raw materials. Africa is relatively close and had the resources they needed. In 1882, “The British next seized control of the government as a whole and forcibly reshaped the Egyptian economy from a system based on multiple crops that maintained the country’s self-sufficiency to one that emphasized the production of a few crops.”i Perhaps Great Britain’s invasion of Egypt is the perfect example of the exploitation of raw materials.
As the age of exploration began, European dominant powers stumbled upon great regions across our globe ranging from Africa to Asia. At first, the continents offered phenomenal trading posts along the coastlines, but eventually European empires realized the exotic territories had much more potential. These great foreign lands represented a feeding source of incredible possibilities that could fuel the great industrial revolution that ignited across Europe during the 1800’s. European powers quickly began to crave precious resources that helped propel the newfound industries to new heights. Unfortunately for the European empires, most of these rare resources did not exist in their homeland.
In the late nineteenth century, early twentieth century, western nations wanted to expand their territory. After the industrial revolution provided western Nations wealth and technology that could be used to take over less advanced societies. European powers proceeded on building empires in Africa. They found Africa to be home of many valuable natural resources they needed to fuel they industries, and supply cheap raw materials for factories. They wanted new markets where they could trade good produce by factories, and a place to invest profits.
The Scramble for Africa was a competition between European imperialists to get various territories in Africa, seeing that Africa had many raw materials and natural resources like ivory, coal, iron, and rubber to aid the Europeans with trade and manufacturing. Freshly entering into the industrial revolution, new products were being made with manufactured machinery and being transported by steam-powered ships across Europe. Since Africa had a large territory that could be used to establish naval bases and build transport systems for trade, Africa was the ideal place for imperialists. Imperialists believed that they were superior to the lesser nation... ... middle of paper ... ...and society was shaped. For some countries like India, Imperialism was good because it brought about change in every area politically and economically.
The panic essentially served as a wake call for American bu... ... middle of paper ... ...that capitalism’s “need of constantly expanding markets for its products chases the bourgeoisie over the whole surface of the globe” (Marx 12). This articulated the idea of American imperialism – expanding in order to attain raw materials and new markets for the now industrialized nation. American imperialism was not a simple aberration – nor was the endeavor undertaken for completely humanitarian goals. Instead, imperialism was both a continuation of the American expansionist tradition – mainly the Manifest Destiny – and a response to a changing economic international community. The industrializing America had needed new markets, raw materials, and overseas territories to compete with the burgeoning European colonial empires.